Clean up Western Avenue on April 27

— Photo from Kathy Burbank

Jim Denn, who cleans his Guilderland neighborhood of litter when he walks, assembles bags of litter picked up at the end of January from the ramp onto the highway at Western Avenue and Schoolhouse Road. “It’s trashed again now,” said Kathy Burbank who submitted the picture.

To the Editor:

I started cleaning up litter many years ago, where I worked, in my neighborhood, and especially at beaches where the litter was going straight into the ocean. Last year, I noticed a huge build-up on Western Avenue in Guilderland.

Garbage was piling up rapidly all over Guilderland and, when I posted on Facebook after a few clean-ups, people started volunteering to help. I found that another person I knew, Jil Denn, had been already cleaning up the end of the Northway!

Several group clean-ups, and about 1,000 pounds of garbage later, Crossgates, the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce, and businesses and families wanted to get involved, so a town-wide clean-up day has been planned.

On Saturday, April 27, a large group of volunteers will be cleaning the streets, abandoned properties, and highway ramps, starting at 11 a.m. with two separate orientations. The “west-side” orientation will be at the Star Plaza parking lot at Western and Route 155, the “east side” will be at Crossgates parking lot behind TRU/Homewood Suites; look for the pop-up tents.

Litter is really everyone’s problem because the wind carries it along. It’s not a business or resident’s fault because trash is gathering at their place.

Litter is a huge problem and getting bigger. Just drive anywhere on busy roads and highways and see that it has been piling up. Where does it go? Into the ground, into our water, our fish and birds, and into your bodies as microplastic!  

Volunteer groups can sign up by emailing me, Kathy Burbank, at , and getting a location to clean, bags, bright T-shirts, and gloves.

Businesses are being asked to adopt the area around their road frontage and/or empty lots adjacent to them. West Winds Contracting has volunteered its time and equipment to then pick up the bags that volunteers fill.

The town is providing a free dumpster at the transfer station for us.

The clean-up is planned for two hours total, as it is too strenuous for longer than that. All volunteers and business groups will have light snacks courtesy of Crossgates.

Kathy Burbank


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